Medical &Health

PM invited to 20th IORA founding anniversary in Indonesia

DHAKA, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been invited to attend the 20th founding anniversary of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to be held in Indonesia in March next.

Visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi handed over an invitation letter of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to this end when she called on the premier at her official Ganabhaban residence here this evening.

PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

He said the 20th founding anniversary of the IORA would be celebrated in Indonesian Bali island on March 7 with the theme of "Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean".

The IORA, formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of 21 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.

The members of the forum are Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the UAE and Yemen.

While talking about the Rohingya refugee issue, the prime minister said Myanmar will have to return back its undocumented nationals from Bangladesh.

In this connection, she hoped that the ASEAN member countries would help solve this problem through discussion with the Myanmar government.

The Indonesian foreign minister informed the prime minister that she along with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali visited Cox's Bazar today and met the undocumented Myanmar nationals staying there.

Sheikh Hasina also reiterated her government's firm stance of not to allow Bangladesh's soil to be used for carrying out any insurgent activities against neighbouring countries.

The press secretary said during the call on the prime minister and Indonesian foreign minister also discussed matters related to boosting trade and commerce between the two countries.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwan Wiranataatmadja were present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)